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SYFY WIRE 12 Monkeys

Bruce Willis retires from acting due to health issues

A family statement revealed that the Die Hard and 12 Monkeys star has been diagnosed with aphasia.

By Phil Pirrello
Bruce Willis Getty

The family of Bruce Willis announced Wednesday that he is "stepping away" from his acting career due to health issues. Willis’ family members posted a joint statement to social media announcing the actor’s retirement.

The Die Hard and 12 Monkeys star's family shared on Instagram that Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, which is a cognitive disorder that impacts a person's ability to communicate. It can compromise an individual's ability to write, speak and understand language, both verbal and written forms of communication. Aphasia is often caused by a stroke or a head injury. 

“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” the statement reads. “As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” the statement continues. “We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”

The 67-year-old actor, who became one of Hollywood's most famous faces after star-making roles in the 1980s on the ABC TV series Moonlighting and in the iconic action film Die Hard, respectively, has several films either completed or in various stages of post-production currently. Among them is Paradise City, which marks a reunion with his Pulp Fiction co-star John Travolta.